The focus of American Vegetable Grower® magazine’s June 2017 cover is an unusual operation. For one, the Navajo Nation owns NAPI, and a full third of its production — grown on 55,000 to 77,000 acres — is consumed by its population.
Here are some quick facts about NAPI:
Owners: Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) is a Navajo Enterprise, owned and operated by the Navajo People. NAPI’s Chief Executive Officer, Wilton Charley works with NAPI’s Board of Directors that is comprised of five members from all areas of the Navajo Nation. NAPI and its Board of Directors function independently with oversight by the Resource and Development Committee (RDC) and the Office of the Navajo Nation President and Vice-President. The RDC is comprised of six members of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council.
Management: Wilton Charley, Chief Executive Officer; Michael Castro, Chief Operations Officer; Darryl Multine, Chief Financial Officer
Years in Operation: On April 16, 1970, NAPI was developed by the Navajo Nation Council as a Navajo-Owned Enterprise to create employment and operate a profitable agribusiness.
Size of Operation: Situated in one sole location in the Farmington, Four Corners area of New Mexico, NAPI has an estimated 75,000 irrigated developed acres of 110,630 total acres.
Crops Grown: NAPI has historically grown pinto beans, potatoes, wheat, alfalfa, and corn. Recently NAPI has undertaken a diversification initiative into organic crops. The 2017 crops include organic melons, winter squash, potatoes, onions, wheat, corn, and garlic.
Main Customers: Large retail chains, club stores, regional retail chains, specialty markets, private label, food service companies, brokers, distributors on commission, dairy farms, and local markets
No. of Employees: NAPI’s employment varies between 200 to 500 people during a crop season. For 2017, the expected number of employees will peak at approximately 600 employees due to NAPI’s organic program expansion.